Friday, December 13, 2019


Well it's that time again.
It's Friday the 13th!

To us, it's just another day.  But we know some people are nervous about the day as well as other things that could happen on any other given day.  

That's why we periodically like to ask about superstitions and which ones you follow or not.

Umbrellas open inside?

Break a mirror?

Walk under a ladder?

Step on a crack?

Black cats cross your path?

Knock on wood?

Toss salt over your shoulder?

I think we don't have many that we avoid.  I will admit to not walking under a ladder.  And we both "knock on wood" frequently.  And if I can avoid opening an umbrella inside, I will.  

As for black cats?

Hobart the cat
Well this one crosses our path dozens of times a day...and we love him like crazy.  

So happy Friday the 13th...what superstitions do you have?  Any that are unusual?

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


Last week I shared our (very) small Meyer lemon harvest.  Today it's the satsuma orange harvest that was quite a bit larger.

Owari Satsuma oranges
Got these off before the last hard freeze.  Almost a dozen were on the tree so we pulled them off.

Peeled Satsuma orange
They peeled so nicely.  I think I've read that they call them zipper peels or something like that.  They just separated so easily from the orange itself.  Then the orange segments just sort of opened up like this.

Pretty cool.

Peeled oranges
They were delicious and we ate quite a few segments.  2nd Man couldn't get over how "orange" they tasted...meaning that they tasted how you imagine an orange SHOULD taste.

Putting up orange segments
The rest of them I stood at the sink and peeled off the little white pithy (is that a word?) parts on the outside of each segment and put them in a baggie.  We are trying to decide if we should freeze them? I mean, we'll have another crop in the Spring and hopefully for years to come but can you freeze oranges like this?

It's so much fun growing these trees. We're having a great time learning the ins and outs of raising fruit. It's definitely a process of winning and losing and winning again but hey, if we can get our own mini orchard cranking out fruit by the buckets full in the end, then it's all worth it for sure.

Monday, December 9, 2019


So…2nd Man had a toothache at Thanksgiving.  We tried everything.  3 Advil.  4 Advil.  Aleve (that helped).  Still, he said it was the worst pain he’s had.  It was a holiday weekend so he wanted to get through it until he could get to the dentist.  
The pain was unbearable.  In fact, Thursday night/Friday morning, he said he felt like he might need to go to the ER or Urgent Care.  I did some checking online (others had asked the same question) and the general consensus was that they don’t give strong pain meds, they just give you Extra Strength Tylenol or Advil and tell you to go to the dentist as soon as you can (and charge you $$$).  
2nd Man said he had to do something, the pain was a 10.  So on those same forums where I was reading about people wanting to go to the ER, people would say “so I found a miracle treatment...”

It was this:

It’s basically a packaged version of clove oil.  So at 3am on Friday morning after Thanksgiving, I was driving around trying to find a place open that had it.   It was our only hope.  Walgreens were closed.  Only two CVS’s were open and they didn't have it.  Then I remembered Walmart.  It was 3am but it was like a Saturday with people shopping for Black Friday deals.  I bypassed the flat screen TVs and found it.

Got home, he put it on and I kid you not, in 5 minutes he said the pain went from 10+ to 1.  Now the only problem I had was reminding him to do it periodically, even if there was zero pain.  After doing some research, I found that clove oil has all sorts of antibiotic properties, anti-inflammatory, and can actually help eliminate an infection.  Once he started using it every few hours, the pain has now gone completely.  Many people said after using it for a few days their tooth/nerve got better.  Now he still has to see the dentist of course at some point soon but for now, it’s letting him go back to a normal life (and letting me get a full night of sleep as well). 

Red Cross Toothache Medication Drops 
(Amazon link but also available at Walmart)

I guess it goes to show that nature sometimes knows better.  This has really gotten us interested in medicinal herbs and their use.  I know essential oils are a big thing now as well and this is basically clove oil that has saved the day.  What else lies out there that we need to learn about?

I’ve always told 2nd Man that when we plant stuff, we should plant things that are beneficial, not just for cooking but for other uses.  I need to look up some medicinal garden designs and ideas.  I know a lot of medicinal herbs are perennials so I can’t just stick them anywhere, need to make a plan.  Start simple with the basics and move forward from there.

Sunday, December 8, 2019


It's been a cool and quiet weekend.

We both had errands to run but separately.  2nd Man had to go get a new suit.  We knew that would take a bit of time with getting tailored etc.  I didn't have much to do at the farm but I had to take some things out there and check on things so that was our Saturday.  The farm was fine, I watered the trees and things on the porch, did a few other things and then came back into town.

This is the fig tree part that I broke off of a new fig tree.  I put it in some water and it's not only putting out roots, it's also sending out new leaves!  Not sure how long it will last in the water so I guess at some point soon I need to get it in some soil.

It looks like we'll have a third tree to plant next Spring, ha. 

When I got home, 2nd Man made a wonderful dinner of roasted pork chops, broccolini and with fettuccine Alfredo.  SO delicious.

Hope you are having a good weekend!

Friday, December 6, 2019


While it's not a farm sunset, it does have an appeal of its own.  This is the view from our balcony at our apartment downtown... does have a magical quality with office building lights and people and cars on the streets below.  At night, as we watch the buildings light up as the sun goes down, we get to watch office lights blink on and off as people come and go.

This is the view toward the horizon.  On some evenings, the sky is ablaze with color.  Again, it's not s sunset behind the trees in the country, but it's a good runner-up.  Beauty is where you find it.

It's Friday, we hope you all have a good end of the week.  I'll be at the farm this weekend checking on things after the long holiday weekend.  We have colder weather coming but thankfully no freeze.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Every Thursday we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Sometimes when we see inspiration somewhere it might not be a specific object that attracts us to it but a color palette.  That is where this picture appealed to us.

Of course you know we love these split rail fences but what we really like here is the combination of ferns and foliage in the green colors and then the shades of purple and varying heights that are SO gorgeous together.  Anyone know what all the flowers are?

Be inspired!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019


In preparation for the recent freeze we went ahead and pulled some of the citrus that was on the the trees.  It wasn't all quite ripe but was close enough.

Here is a Meyer lemon on the tree.  It looks nice and yellow but that's on one side.  The other side was a bit green so we left it in the window to get fully yellow.  The other one was the same.  But we have to admit, this is a pretty good looking lemon!

Here are the lemons after we cut them open.  Tart but slightly sweet.  They were small but considering the tree is only about 4 feet tall, they will get bigger as the tree gets bigger. 

Of course, short of a whole batch of lemons for something bigger, we opted for a big glass of iced tea with lemon.  It was so good.  We assume just like garden veggies, home grown fruit is always best. 

Amazing to think that we will (fingers crossed they make it through the Winters) have fresh citrus every year.  Hopefully as all the trees get bigger, our harvest gets exponentially larger as well.

Monday, December 2, 2019


Hope you all had a great holiday weekend.  Back to work today.  

2nd Man's toothache is better but it was hit or miss for a few days.  I will have a post on that coming up with the amazing treatment we found.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store and they had turkeys on clearance. These were small turkeys, about 8.5 lbs each.  They were fresh, not frozen and raised free of hormones and such.  As close to natural as you can get.  

Best of all, I got both for $10.00.

Fresh small turkeys
We figured if we were heating up the oven for one turkey why not do two at the same time?  So yesterday afternoon, we oiled them up and seasoned them with our own farmhouse blend (that's what we call it, ha) of seasonings.

Roasting turkeys
We roasted them for an hour and a half and they came out perfect.  Moist, tender and full of flavor. 

Turkey meat
We took all the meat off the bones, mixed it together and shredded it up.  We measured it all out into about 3 cup portions and them put them into vacuum sealed bags.

Vacuum sealed turkey
We ended up with 6 packages of turkey for the freezer.  They will be used over time for things like turkey pot pie, turkey tetrazzini, and so on.  The taste of Thanksgiving for months to come, ha.

We kind of like the idea of two smaller turkeys, it's the equivalent of one large one and is done in half the time with twice as many legs, wings, breasts, etc.

Anyone have any great recipe ideas using turkey meat?

Thursday, November 28, 2019


Hello!  We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends.

It's a gloomy day in the Houston area.

2nd Man has a terrible toothache, but we're making the best of things.  We opted out of a full turkey dinner but we're making a homemade turkey pot pie.  That counts, right? 

Hope you have a great next couple of days!
We will check in later this weekend

Hugs from both of us to all of you!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Short post today.  For millions of people it's either prepping food or last minute shopping or traveling out of town.  

The last few days I've posted some yucky food ideas and so here another.  Anyone want a Spam bake on a cold Winter's day?
No you say?

(click to enlarge)

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I LIKE Spam.  Grew up eating it fried on occasion and it was good.  This however, not too sure about.  You take a loaf of Spam, slice into it, shove peach slices in between drizzle with peach syrup and brown sugar and bake.  

Yum?  Or no?